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State should fund budget deficit, says official

WESTERN
By Eric Lungai | August 14th 2013

By Eric Lungai

Kakamega, Kenya: Vihiga deputy governor Caleb Amaswache has said the budget deficit reflects the needs of the county and they should be helped by the central government to cushion this.

Amaswache noted that the Sh6.2 billion the county has proposed has been underfunded by the Treasury bearing in mind the levels of poverty and unemployment.

“Vihiga has a poverty level of 62 per cent and 67 per cent unemployment. So if the national government is only allocating us Sh3.1 billion, it is clearly sending signals that it does not want to help us,” he said.

He said that having a budget deficit reflects the county’s dire need for help from the central government.

In a report released by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA), Vihiga was ranked first with the biggest budget deficit of 91 per cent. The county has a deficit of Sh2.9 billion.

“It is the responsibility of the national government and the CRA to raise the deficit because we have the justifications that the money will be used on development,” said Amaswache.

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